Despite the title, this post really begins at the end of October 2014, when I had my annual review with my employer (Company A).
It was an excellent review, and it came with a big raise -- bigger than I expected. And my boss asked me if I would be interested in taking on the challenge of a bigger store.
Company A has a couple dozen stores. Most of them are located in Massachusetts; however, two of them are in New Hampshire. I liked the idea of running a bigger store. But I had just moved to Worcester after having some issues with my previous landlord. I remember the exact words I said to my boss:
"Well, I wouldn't want to move to New Hampshire, but yeah, I'd be interested in taking on a bigger store."
A few weeks go by. Fast forward to one morning shortly before Thanksgiving. I had to let another store borrow one of my associates, so I'm by myself. The phone rings and it's my boss.
"I'll be swinging by in about 20 minutes so we can have a conference call."
Conference calls are serious business. Did I fuck something up? "Am I in trouble?" I ask.
"No it's a good call," he says.
"OK, but I'm stuck on the register for the next couple of hours, so I can't be on a conference call."
He says he'll call me right back. When he does, he tells me he's pulled an associate from another store to work the register for me while the conference call is going on.
And then they hit me with it: the manager of one of the New Hampshire stores has resigned, and they want me to take it over.
And I'm like, Figures.
I ask a few questions. It's a big store -- the third-biggest store in the entire chain. And I've been in the professional world long enough to know, when they ask you about a potential promotion, they want you to take it. If you don't, you may never get offered a promotion again. After asking all the questions about the store, I asked, "So, would this come with another raise?"
"Well, think it over and we can discuss that in a day or two."
I just got a pretty decent-sized raise. It's not normal to receive two raises in such a short period of time. That said, if they trust me to run one of their biggest stores, I think my salary should reflect that. This was an opportunity to force myself to move out of my comfort zone. I crunched some numbers and came up with a salary figure that, I thought, was a little outrageous. A lot bigger than the big raise I just got. It's either going to scare them off, in which case I'm comfortably in central Massachusetts, or I get a salary offer that's too good to turn down.
The next day, they call back. "Have you given it some thought?" they ask me.
"Yes," I say, "but in order to move up to New Hampshire I feel like I should be paid $x/week."
"Well we can't pay you $x/week. But we can pay you $x - 15/week."
Well, then. This wouldn't be the largest raise I've ever received (I got a whopper of a raise when I was promoted to management at the 2010 Census). But it was easily the second-largest raise. I can't really turn this down over $15 a week.
That was it. Effective Jan. 1, 2015, I was New Hampshire-bound.
And thus, the wheels were set into motion, and one of the craziest years of my life (and hell it's only May) began.
Stay tuned for Part 2: How To Be Interrogated By Police Without Really Trying